The evenings are drawing in, Halloween is just around the corner, and there’s a buzz of activity at the Linenhall Arts Centre that can mean only one thing. RoolaBoola, the Linenhall’s annual children’s arts festival is back for its 15th year of fun and creativity over the October Bank Holiday Weekend. It is a festival that has established itself as a firm favourite not just for young people but also their families. The success of RoolaBoola is down to imaginative programming that seeks to deliver the very best experience to audiences and workshop participants.
Theatre has always been a strong feature of RoolaBoola, and this year Branar Téatar do Pháistí is guaranteeing that audiences young and old will have another top quality theatrical experience with its beautiful new puppet show Croí á Mhuscailt/ Awakening a Heart, in what will be the production’s Irish festival premier. Since 2001 Branar has been producing work of the highest quality, both in drama workshops and theatre production. Based in Galway, the company was founded by artistic director Marc Mac Lochlainn. Initially the company focused on delivering drama to schools, and in 2004 Marc was invited by Castlebar Library to do some workshops for schools. That invitation provided the perfect opportunity to create a small show called Iontas na Leabhar, Branar’s first theatre show.
Branar is no stranger to the Linenhall, and over the years the company has delivered a number of top-notch shows that have earned great praise from audiences. Croí á Mhúscailt / Awakening a Heart is a beautiful, heart-warming, journey into the world of a girl and her granny, for ages five years and up and adults of all ages.
Morgan Cooke, who will be delivering a workshop during RoolaBoola, creates a delicate musical score to accompany this beautiful story, and Mayo’s own Suse Reibisch has once again created the wonderful puppets for the show.
While the titles of Branar’s shows are bilingual, you do not have to have Irish to engage with the company’s productions. Marc, who is also lecturer in educational drama and theatre, states: “We create shows that are not language dependant and that captivate the audience both young and old.” If you want to experience that Branar magic for yourself, Croí á Mhúscailt / Awakening a Heart will be at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Sunday October 28 for two performances, at 2pm and 4pm. Booking advised. Tel: 094 9028886. RoolaBoola takes place from, October 26 to 29 at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar. Full printed programme is available from the Linenhall, or see www.thelinenhall.com